Candida Hunter is Hualapai and Mexican and serves as Senior Director of Tribal Affairs for First Things First (FTF). In this position, she is responsible for ensuring the facilitation of effective government-to-government relations between FTF, a state agency, and Arizona’s Tribes; building and strengthening organizational relations with tribal partners; fostering tribal relations through collaborative partnerships; and, facilitating the provision of culturally responsive early childhood services in tribal communities. Candida is a fellow of the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy focused on expanding the cadre of Arizonans in state-level civic leadership positions with the knowledge, skills and commitment to address the state’s critical long-term issues. She is a fellow of the BUILD Equity Leaders Action Network which works to promote racial equity in early childhood systems.
Candida is the FTF representative on the Arizona Advisory Board of Indian Health Care which advocates for increasing access to high quality health care programs for all American Indians in Arizona. She also serves on the Mohave Community College Governing Board. She previously served as the Co-Chair of the Arizona Community Foundation Native American Initiative and Vice Chair of the Grand Canyon Resort Corporation Board of Directors which is focused on creating economic development opportunities for the Hualapai Tribe. She also served on the Northern Arizona University’s Southwest Health Equity Research Collaborative Advisory Board to address health disparities in northern and southwest Arizona and served on the Center for Excellence Infant Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Tribal Workgroup Committee to support the implementation of mental health consultants working with early childhood professionals in tribal communities.
Prior to joining FTF, Candida served as a Hualapai Tribal Council member and a volunteer on the FTF Hualapai Tribe Regional Partnership Council and several other community groups. Candida was also named as a 2018 winner of the Native American 40 Under 40 award by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and is a Global Leader for Young Children at the World Forum Foundation. More recently, she also completed the Arizona State University Indigenous Leadership Academy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling and volunteering. She is a mother and aunt, a human services professional and former policymaker who strongly believes the success of future generations begins in the early years of life.